Saturday, June 15, 2024

Sidney’s Florca the orca statue moving from Mary Winspear Centre to Beacon Avenue

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The stunning orca statue currently residing inside the Mary Winspear Centre will soon be given a new home!

In hopes of allowing more viewers to connect with the piece, the 8’ tall statue, known as ‘Florca,’ will become a more central Sidney landmark—greeting community members and visitors traveling down Beacon Avenue.

It will be positioned in front of the Visitor Information Centre, where people are there to provide guidance for guests getting to know Sidney. 

“This delightful statue is sure to create a sense of arrival for people approaching Sidney’s downtown,” said Sidney Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith. 

“We are so fortunate to live alongside pods of orcas and the community takes incredible pride in our floral displays. Florca is a great addition to Sidney’s varied and vibrant public art.”

Florca was created by Victoria-based artist Anne Swannell as a part of the 2004 ‘Orcas in the City’ public art project, which involved a total of 70 orca statues speckled across Victoria and Vancouver. 

Following the project display, the statues were auctioned off to support the BC Lions Society for Children with Disabilities Easter Seals. 

The Mary Winspear Centre is donating Florca to the Town of Sidney as well as covering installation costs with the help of the Sidney Business Improvement Area Society.

Florca is covered in a mosaic pattern of tiles, including a floral wreath from pieces of broken china. It was originally installed on Fort Street in downtown Victoria. 

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